Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show

Entertaining as hell, smart, good-humored, informative and a bit dirty. What more would you want from an online-only talk show hosted by an actor’s actor? Kevin Pollak (A Few Good Men, The Usual Suspects) has a great Internet show that I highly recommend to fellow pop culture fans of film, music, television and technology.

Recent guests have included Matthew Perry, Curt Smith (Tears for Fears), Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Felicia Day (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog).

Click here for more information about Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show and to watch recent episodes, or download all of them for free on iTunes. Just a heads up – you may want to use headphones if you watch at work; Kevin and his guests have free reign with regard to language (which is one of the reasons I love it).  You can also follow Kevin on Twitter. Of course.

New episodes stream live every Sunday at 5pm PDT.

If you tune in, let me know what you think!

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On Tap: An Ambitious Viewing Agenda

And I’m back.

While visiting family this weekend, a few common questions arose over cocktails: which shows do I watch, and how many hours a night do I spend watching movies/TV and then blogging?

Well, here is a glimpse at my viewing agenda this week…


  • NCAA Women’s Basketball Final (I’m a Bay Area & Pac10 girl; go Stanford!)
  • 30 Rock (returns on Thursday)
  • Canterbury’s Law (Damages lite)
  • Dirt (total guilty pleasure)
  • John Adams (HBO miniseries)
  • Medium (Anjelica Houston has been a great addition)
  • The Office (returns on Thursday)
  • The Riches (not loving new season yet)
  • Samantha Who? (returns tonight)
  • Scrubs (returns on Thursday)
  • Survivor (finally admitting that I watch it online)
  • Top Chef


  • Pirates of the Caribbean 3
  • X-Files, Season 9, Disc 1


  • Jericho, Season 1

I am also looking forward to the return of Bones and Brothers & Sisters next week, as well as Season 1 of The Wire on DVD.

As for the amount of time I spend on this hobby…I estimate that I watch three hours per weeknight; either a movie on DVD or television on TiVo/online/iTunes/DVD. On the weekends I tend to watch an additional movie or two, and several episodes of shows I’ve missed.

As for my blogs, I alternate posting entries on both blogs every other night for about an hour each. I am also online for an average of 3-4 hours every night after work, reading news and other blogs, and preparing my own.

And so I’m off to post a Lost blog, and then catch up on last week’s Men in Trees. The weekly viewing commences now.

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New Toy, New Season, No Joke

Oh happy day.

Although it might seem that blogging, movies and television rule my life, I actually have two other favorite hobbies: baseball and music.

Not only am I enjoying opening night of A’s baseball on TV right now, I am setting up the newest addition to the JOpinionated family of gadgets. I have a new toy, one which I’ve been waiting patiently for.

Say hello to my little friend…

She’s a Classic; thin, beautiful, spacious (160GB; room for approximately 40k songs/25k photos/200 hours of video), and my new best friend.

Given that I already have a 40GB iPod (functional but with a cracked cover and weird mechanical sounds), I had to justify this purchase. Here goes:

1. I have been selling various gadgets & electronics on CraigsList just to buy this. My hand-me-downs have been other people’s treasures. Thanks, strangers!

2. I am about to fly back and forth across the country for the first time since back surgery in December, and rather than schelp my laptop & accessories, I can watch TV on this instead. Yeah, it’s good for my back!

Many of my friends have iPhones, but I do not like having music on my phone and it certainly cannot accommodate the amount of tunes I like to have at all times. I know, I know, the iPhone screen and functionality is amazing. I have email/Internet on my cell phone, and now I have 160GB to hold ALL of my music & photos, plus several seasons of TV shows. So I am a very happy camper.

I have to christen the iPod with some new music, and I’m open to suggestions. Right now the new REM and Counting Crows albums top the list, as well as the Madonna/JT and Death Cab for Cutie singles. My favorite song of the moment is Bruce Springsteen’s “Girls in Their Summer Clothes,” but by all means…recommend some others.

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iMix: Favorite Movie/TV Scores & Theme Songs

A few days ago I enjoyed reading about and watching’s The Twelve Greatest Opening Credits in Movie History, and it has inspired me to explore my favorite movie scores and television theme songs.

Some are classics, some are more contemporary, and most have emotional resonance and personal significance.

Click here to open and listen to the iMix for this set list in iTunes.

In no particular order…

Dances With Wolves (John Barry)
One of my favorite soundtracks to listen to when I’m writing.  I’m a huge Costner fan from that era, which is not something that most would admit. Out loud. Or on paper.

Babel/Deadwood (Gustavo Santaolalla)
I love the track “Iguazu,” which is on both the Deadwood series and Babel film soundtracks. However, I was quite surprised that Santaolalla won the Oscar for Original Score for Babel when this track was previously used and written. There was controversy earlier this year when Johnny Greenwood was disqualified from contention for his phenomenal There Will Be Blood score, because he intermixed music from the year before on one of the tracks.

Atonement (Dario Marianelli)
“Briony” features the typewriter as an instrumental accompaniment, which is integral to the story. Brilliant.

There Will Be Blood (Johnny Greenwood)
“Future Markets” is the modern day Psycho theme. It is dark, tense and perfect.

Superman (John Williams)
Goosebumps, every single time. Favorite superhero/theme song of all time.

Rocky (Bill Conti)
You don’t have to be a guy or a jock to be inspired every time you hear the opening seconds of “Gonna Fly Now.” I only wish it was an instrumental song; the cheesy vocals kind of ruin it for me.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (John Williams)
When I hear this, I am instantly transported back to 1981, and the joy of being 8 years old returns. Is there a better feeling, however fleeting?

The X-Files (Mark Snow)
My second favorite TV series of all time. I respond to this theme like a cat who hears the crinkle and shake of the treat bag. Sadly, Snow’s original X-Files TV theme isn’t available on iTunes.
If I had one complaint about Lost (my #1), it would be that there isn’t an actual theme song like this for the show.

James Bond
Although many would disagree, A View to a Kill and Duran Duran’s theme song top my Best of Bond list. Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” from Casino Royale is a close second.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Howard Shore & Annie Lennox)
“Into the West” is haunting and quite beautiful. 

The Matrix trilogy
I don’t understand why none of these soundtracks are available on iTunes besides Don Davis’ original score, but at least a version of Rob Dougan’s “Clubbed to Death” from the first film is up there. By far, The Matrix: Reloaded is the best of the bunch.

American Beauty (Thomas Newman)
This film is in my Top 10 of all time, and I laugh and smile each time I hear the title track, conjuring up the image of Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening in their career performances.

Six Feet Under (Thomas Newman)
Another frustrating lack of representation on iTunes, because Newman’s series theme song is so iconic and memorable.

Brokeback Mountain (Gustavo Santaolalla)
The soundtrack was heartbreaking long before the tragic death of Heath Ledger. I find it impossible to listen to “The Wings” without welling up, thinking about the absolutely exquisite last scene of the film, in Ennis’ trailer with Jack’s shirt.

So, my quiet readers, which theme songs rule your world?

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Once again, the fans are getting hosed. Because of what is being labeled a ‘contract dispute,’ NBC shows will no longer be available on iTunes.

So should you not have a DVR/TiVO or somehow miss an episode of The Office, Heroes, Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock, etc…you’re screwed.

Just last year, NBC was thrilled with iTunes, giving them credit for the surge in ratings that The Office experienced after the series was made available for digital download.

I feel like this is strike 2 against The Office; earlier this year it was announced that the show will air opposite and compete with Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday nights at 9pm. Insert large sigh here.

I would be very interested to hear what the cast and crew have to say about the iTunes situation. And I’m sure we will. Here are a few great sites that are either solely dedicated to or cover The Office news extensively:

Give Me My Remote

Northern Attack


Enjoy the long holiday weekend. And thanks for stopping by.

UPDATE (9/4/07)

Now you will be able to purchase NBC shows through’s Unbox, to watch on your PC or TV. For more information: Amazon Unbox and Amazon Unbox on TiVO.

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I abandoned the pilot episode of Ugly Betty when it debuted last year. It didn’t strike a chord right away, so it was not deemed TiVO-worthy. Due to consistent raves across the board from friends and fellow bloggers, not to mention the many Emmy nominations that the show has earned, I have decided to reconsider my original assessment and commit to watching the show. I might be late to the game, but I have a front row seat and time on my hands. Right now I am purchasing all of Season 1 on iTunes.

I liked America Ferrara in Lords of Dogtown, I love Ashley Jensen on Extras, and I was excited to learn that Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under) will be joining the cast for Season 2. And I look forward to watching Eric Mabius in a role far removed from his stint on The L Word; his character’s departure from that show was disturbing and that is the image of him that lingers.

Do you watch it? Will it be worth my $35?

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